The great and good of Yorkshire recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Simon Wallis, director of The Hepworth Gallery, was awarded an OBE.
Simon Wallis, director of The Hepworth Gallery, was awarded an OBE.
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EDUCATORS, ARTS’ leaders and community stalwarts were among some of the Yorkshire men and women recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Two knighthoods were included in more than 60 honours afforded to people in the region.

One went to the executive principal of a Bradford academy where a teacher was stabbed on Thursday, for his services to education.

Nick Weller said his first thoughts were with his colleague who is recovering in hospital after the incident at the Dixons Kings Academy.

Mr Weller joined Dixons City Academy, a school in Bradford, in 2005 as principal and now leads a group of eight schools in the city as the executive principal of the Dixons Academies Trust

It took over the Kings Science Academy free school this year which has since been renamed as Dixons Kings.

Mr Weller, of Leeds, said: “Being chief executive of the eight Dixons Academies is a privilege in itself. Our academies and partnerships play a significant role in meeting the demand for new places in Bradford and improving schools in challenging circumstances. I am humbled by the honour and very grateful for the recognition it gives our family of academies, our staff, and our students.”

Other Yorkshire educators honoured yesterday include the principal and chief executive of Leeds City College, Peter Roberts, who received a CBE for services to further education.

“Having worked in education for 37 years and in the Further Education sector for 32 years, I am both delighted and humbled to be recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.”

John Hamilton Henderson, executive headteacher at White Woods Multi Academy Trust, Rotherham, was awarded an OBE.

In art, the founding director of the The Hepworth Wakefield, Simon Wallis, was awarded an OBE. Mr Wallis, who joined the gallery before it opened in 2011, credited the “truly superb” team at The Hepworth for the honour.

He added: “I’m so delighted that The Hepworth Wakefield’s success and worth is very widely recognised and enjoyed. It’s an honour to lead the gallery that works with such an important art collection and ambitious artists to inspire so many people regionally, nationally and internationally.

“I’ve been working with visual arts for 25 years - it feels like five minutes - and there’s still so many wonderful and exciting things in the pipeline for The Hepworth Wakefield. We’ve a truly superb team, and the audience we’ve built has given the gallery heart and soul.”

In health, Rachel Cutting, Principal Embryologist at Jessop Fertility at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was awarded an MBE. She helped to change the way IVF treatment is carried out across the country and has been previously named Healthcare Scientist of the Year. She said receiving the honour was “a source of immense pride”.

Professor Christopher Raine, a consultant ENT surgeon at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, from Bingley was awarded an MBE for services to the NHS and Ear Trust Charity. Dr Judith Hooper, former director of public health at Kirklees Council, was awarded an MBE.

Also recognised was 81-year-old George Carter, of Stokesley, North Yorkshire, who receives a British Empire Medal. He single-handedly raised over £300,000 to restore and renovate Stokeley Town Hall.

In business, who led work to transform the Leeds City Region into an economic powerhouse has been made an OBE.

Roger Marsh, chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) since 2013, has overseen the LEP through a period of significant transformation, including bringing in over £1bn in Government investment into the region by securing the largest Local Growth Deal settlement in the country.

He is also a member of HS2 Growth Task Force and a board member of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Mr Marsh, who spent 40 years at PwC, said: “Unusually, for those who know me, I was truly lost for words when I found out about this surprise award.”